Single diet reduces costs with no forfeit

Single diet reduces costs with no forfeit


Sheep National
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PORK producers can reduce feed and labour costs, with no impact on the average daily weight gain, by feeding a single ration throughout the pig’s growing stage.

PORK producers can reduce feed and labour costs, with no impact on the average daily weight gain, by feeding a single ration throughout the pig’s growing stage.

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GROWTH RATES: Experimenting with feed rations does not have to lead to a reduction in the average daily weight gain.

GROWTH RATES: Experimenting with feed rations does not have to lead to a reduction in the average daily weight gain.

PhD candidate Karen Moore, Pork Innovation WA, addressed a group of pig producers at the PorkSA Pig Industry Day in Tanunda, speaking on different ways to save on feed costs.

The single diet has the same diet fed throughout the grower and finisher period of the animal.

Ms Moore said there had been several trials with results showing it could result in the same weight gain as a more specific, phased ration.

“The success will likely depend on the diet specification chosen,” she said. 

A ration selected as suitable for pigs at 60 kilograms was fed to pigs between the weights of 30kg through to the target 97kg.

“It was 5.1 cents/kg cheaper to feed the single diet, compared to a phased diet,” Ms Moore said.​

“The lifetime growth was no different, the feed conversion ratio was no different.”

RATIONAL DECISION: PhD candidate Karen Moore, Pork Innovation WA, says trials have shown changes to feed rations can lower costs without impacting growth.

RATIONAL DECISION: PhD candidate Karen Moore, Pork Innovation WA, says trials have shown changes to feed rations can lower costs without impacting growth.

Another study used pigs between 22kg and 101kg.

“The growth was slower during the early stages, but it averages out with compensatory growth,” Ms Moore said.

“But it was 3.1c/kg cheaper to feed the single diet.”

Another potential feed saving trial looked at manipulating voluntary feed intake during the final two weeks before slaughter.

“Pigs can consume a lot of feed in the finishing phase, but they will still grow the same on less feed,” Ms Moore said.

“By eating more feed than required, it puts extra feed into fat, which markets don’t want.”

The trials altered a regular ration – giving one 20 per cent Albus lupins, and the other with 3pc calcium chloride and 1.6pc sodium tripolyphosphate – fed to the pigs in the final two weeks before slaughter.

The pigs eating the mineral salt ration decreased their feed intake by 9pc, with the Albus lupins ration intake down 20pc.

“The mineral salts had no impact on the pig’s daily gain, while the Albus lupins had a small decrease,” she said.

“The feed conversion rate improved 7pc with mineral salts.”

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